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In this Instructable, we'll look into way to make a microwave kiln.

For those who don't know what is a microwave kiln, here is a quick introduction.

Microwave kiln is a kiln that you can put in your regular microwave oven.

It does not use a wire heating element or gas to heat up. Microwave kiln is covered with silicon carbide.

Silicon carbide absorbs microwaves and turns them into heat.

Microwave kilns are usually used to fuse glass.

You can turn broken glass into amazing jewelry.

After reading comments, I realized that a lot of people did not know that microwave kilns exist.

You can easily buy one from amazon, ebay, Aliexpress (check the supply list)

This DIY version is not limited with size and it's much more durable than most cheap microwave kiln.

There is so much more that you can do with microwave kilns.

I use a microwave kiln to burn out Wax or Pla from plaster molds. It works very good.

You can also melt metals, but more on that in another Instructable, since there is much better way to do it by using the same principle.

Step 1: Making a Plaster Ring Mold

First we need to make a plaster ring.

To do that, you can make a mold from EVA foam or you can use a 3D printed mold.

If you use EVA foam, just cut strips of foam and glue them in the circle on top of another piece of foam.

The first strip I wrapped around a cup and used cello tape to glue it together.

The second strip I overlapped and glued together with some glue.

Both foam rings were glued on top of another foam with some regular school glue.

Dumbphone1 month ago
What an incredible tutorial. I enjoyed reading through this. Well done!
sunandadas1 month ago
Very nice video. Thanks
XofHope1 month ago
This is a great instructable and I'd love to make it someday (I already have an ebay bought little kiln, but a bigger, sturdier one would be wonderful). I have a potentially silly question but... Not long ago I made water glass from silica and lye, it was thick enough (like syrup), yet it never solidified. How did you get yours to look like a piece of broken glass? Also, since mine never set, I'm afraid a diluted solution would set even less... if that was possible. Any advice on this, please?
ShakeTheFuture (author)  XofHope1 month ago
That water glass was sitting in paper cup for a few weeks, so it had time to fully harden.
If you leave it uncovered for a day or blow some hot air on top, it should develop a jelly like film on top.
You can also pour a tiny amount in a paper cup and microwave it. It should harden in seconds.
Of course microwaving it will not make it look like a piece of glass. It will turn into hard, foamy stone, but at least you will know that it can be cured.
Cheers!
DS912 months ago
Step 1: making a plaster ring
Step 2: making a plaster ring

Could Step 1 be: "Making a Plaster Ring Mold" ? And if you have time at some point, could you please go into more depth how to make the mold out of foam for those of us who do not have access to a 3D printer? Thanks!
ShakeTheFuture (author)  DS912 months ago
Thanks for the suggestion. I added some more pictures and instructions on how to make a foam mold. Hope that makes it more clear. Cheers!
I am not only impressed by your creative passion but also your kindness and belief in people. Thank you for this practical introduction to an extremely useful arrangement of materials and properties. I believe I am looking forward to your proposed guide on melting metals, surely an extremely useful skill albeit one to attract many health and safety comment? Metal melting and casting has always been dangerous. If one must, it must be at one's own risk to do so? Sodden rags wrapped around the legs and feet were all that was available to the men who cast the giant iron wheels that furnished the industrial revolution of the 18 & 19th centuries. The cast workers earned their daily bread so that we can now sit in front of our laptops and PCs (and microwave cookers too!) to comment around the world within a matter of seconds. My sincere wishes of good fortune to yourself and your family. Your contribution to public lnowledge is gratefully received. Here's to LifeLongLearning!
ShakeTheFuture (author)  arclite71 month ago
Thank You very much for the kind words. I really appreciate that you took time to leave a comment.
Cheers!
Jan54122 months ago
Observe the necessary safety requirements because Silicon Carbide may be carcinogenic.
There is still much uncertainty about it, but prevention is better than cure.
I'd never heard of that risk, so thanks. That said, thinking of the literally millions of silicon carbide grinding wheels in use in shops everywhere over the past decades...makes me think it's not super bad. Powdered SiC might be, as many minerals/metals in powder form become very to extremely toxic...can't find the reference where I read that right now unfortunately. I don't think 80 grit is a powder. Although it's just one reference this document from an abrasives specialist manufacturer says "Abrasive powders commonly refer to any size finer than #240 grit" (http://kcabrasive.com/projects/gritpowdersizing.pd....
This "systematic review" (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27628329), says, "The increased risk of lung cancer detected in the SiC production industry appears to be associated with high exposure levels to total dust, including crystalline silica and cristobalite which occurred in this industry in the past decades. It may not persist under current exposure circumstances, characterized by lower levels and use of personal protection equipment. Commercial users of SiC-based products were not affected."
This other document refers fibers of SiC being an issue: "Nonfibrous particles have low to very low toxic effects on lung tissue. Silicon carbide fibers, on the other hand, can cause lung fibrosis, lung cancer, and possibly mesothelioma." (https://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/category-details?id=624&table=copytblagents)

So to me the main question of safety regarding SiC in this furnace is, does heating the 80 grit particle generate silicon carbide fibers somehow? If not I don't see much of any toxicity issue.
Incorrect reference due to typographic error. Fibrous silica was intended as hazardous and not inclusive of non-fibrous silicon carbide crystals as a hazardous environment for furnace loaders during the large scale manufacturing process from raw materials. Dust hazards are recognised. SiC fibres are not referred to at all as they are not present and are not intended to be referred to.
I'm trying to understand your comment but I'm not sure which typo or link you're referring to. The first linked doc talks about dust being a problem, the 2nd talks about fibers of SiC being a problem. I don't get where something was unclear or incorrect... I must be missing something obvious.
I looked at your reference in PubMed, These research write-ups are usually extremely precise and matter of fact but in this case the 'English language' is a little non-standard to which I propose there is no intended reference to SiC crystals as carcinogenic just as fibrous SiC is not intended as a reference. If it were the subject of a serious indictment the reference to such would indeed be precise and not resting on a weak syntactical bridge as this "a typographical error" leading to ambiguity. The best approach to this would be to contact the papers author(s) and to ask for clarification - this may be of good service leading to an amendment and refocus of the papers intended statement. My approach is as a person with autism. I am not writing in any sense of a rebuke, your comment is fair just as is my observation of a writing style in context to many others also observed as fit for purpose. This may sound a little "Sheldonesque" but ambiguities really cause me problems I must seek to resolve! I thank you for your reply.
ok. I didn't see it as a rebuke, and anyway no problem, I'm fairly robust.
;o)
The closest association would be nano-particles as the cross-section of fibre ends resembles these structures for their electro-physical and chemical effects when they puncture cell walls and their internal structures. Is SiC found or manufactured as fibres as was asbestos for many years so still claiming many lives - Turner Newel were found manufacturing blue asbestos in South Africa using an exclusive black workforce years after medical evidence forced them to shut down their European/British plant. A SiC pattern of racist supremacy hopefully never to be repeated! We are all brothers and sisters proven by mitochondrial Eve our first hominid ancestor who lived in Africa and who was black. I am like everybody else her descendent. A white allele was selected as we travelled Northwards where sunlight was significantly weaker and our skin was less able to create vitamin 'D' essential for strong bones. That selection was long ago and can be seen today in countries like Norway and Finland where fair hair and blue eyes are a common trait. But supremacy is a falsehood Bourne out of ignorance of our shared history. Thank you for continuing this wonderful tradition of human celebration of difference.
Best place to look for current medical research with the most powerful search engine and personal document collection system is PubMed, google this to access public entrance, second to nothing else for public awareness!!! If SiC poses any risk, you will first find collected evidence here. Thank you for excellent work and Copyleft intelligence.
You have the correct approach !
SiC fibers are generated only by the process used to make SiC abrasives as a by -product. SiC fibers are also made on purpose as additives to other materials to change their properties. Working inside these plants without protection can lead to carcinogenic symptoms over time. Using, heating or any other common abrasive/grinding purpose for SiC will NOT produces the fibers.
ShakeTheFuture (author)  Jan54122 months ago
Thank You for the tip.
FerreiraN Jan54122 months ago
Alarmism without science.
bigredox2 months ago
How hot can the melt get? I need ~1400C, ~2500F to make custom art glass sample colors from scratch.
ShakeTheFuture (author)  bigredox1 month ago
I don't think you will reach those temperatures.
My thermometer can measure until 1050C (1922F), when it's hotter than that, it just displays "High".
I know it's possible to reach temperatures over 1050C (1922F), but I don't know the exact temperature.
It's possible to hit those temperatures with a SIC crucible.
I have molten steel nuts, but it takes a very long time and it's not the same as using a kiln, since the material is directly sitting on silicon carbide.
Ceramic fiber is rated to withstand temperatures up to 1200C, some more expensive fibers up to 1400C. The kiln made this way will probably get damaged very fast if you manage to hit those temperatures.
Cheers!
Rechberg1 month ago
your video is very good and the instruction is very good.
Can I use any size of PVC pipe?
Thank you
ShakeTheFuture (author)  Rechberg1 month ago
To make a mold or use it instead of a plaster?



ToniM952 months ago
When will you have the feature on melting metal? My an used to be a machinist and is always looking for more ways to work metel
ShakeTheFuture (author)  ToniM951 month ago
Thanks!
I will have it published in 2, 3 days.
Cheers!
Easily one of the best Instructable videos I've seen to date. Absolutely no interest in fusing glass, but seriously tempted to make one of these after watching you do it!
ShakeTheFuture (author)  charlessenf-gm1 month ago
Thank You!
needfulthing2 months ago
Very cool project, I didn't know this was possible in a microwave. I wonder if this might be an alternative to finish metal clay instead of just burning it on a metal mesh with a torch. Although I'm a little worried about temperature control in this case.
Absolutely so Needfullthing! I am thinking just as yourself and the "ceramic paper" referred to by ShakeTheFuture as a clean flat support surface sounds perfect for example before solving many 3D shaped profiles like artisan-al wedding bands? Should they be created flat? Then rolled up and welded/brazed before sizing as a complete process? Has anybody seen a 3D printer adaptation for liquid clay printing? The results would likely be spectacular if not extremely expensive finished artefacts when sold in Japan. Cloisonné preparation would be somewhat less time consuming by this method instead of by traditional wire brazing? I instinctively look to Japan for their celebration of innovation and modernisation without loosing quality. This kiln is the best thing since sliced bread, I still think! Good luck with your ideas too...
Frank14502 months ago
Excellent instructions!
This is a great tutorial! Any chance you sell these kilns?
I am a working artist, however current circumstances prevent me from being able to make my own. Please let me know!
ShakeTheFuture (author)  natblondeartist2 months ago
Thank You!
I don't sell these kilns, but you can easily buy one from amazon (check the supply list) or if you look around (aliexpress), you can find them even cheaper.
Thank you so much!
kmpres2 months ago
I had no idea this was possible. Looking forward to the lost PLA method of metal molding using one of these.
ShakeTheFuture (author)  kmpres2 months ago
Thanks! I am glad you like it!
SteveH1382 months ago
This is amazing, I cast glass in a ceramic kiln for years and never knew this was possible.
ShakeTheFuture (author)  SteveH1382 months ago
Awesome! I am glad you found it useful.
Laral2 months ago
Outstanding. Fantastic idea. Very clear instructions. Great video.
ShakeTheFuture (author)  Laral2 months ago
Thank You!
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